|“||In 1929, a young explorer named Marcus Cole drank deeply from the legendary fountain of Zeus and was exposed to power of the Greek Gods. It was his...it was MY last day as a moral man. Those waters imbued me with Zeus' strength, power and spirit.||„|
|~ Statesman: City of Heroes issue #1 Hard Crash|
Statesman was the main hero of the online game City of Heroes. Statesman lives in Paragon City, a fictitious city in Rhode Island. Statesman is over one-hundred years old and has been fighting crime for the better half of his life. In modern times Statesman has come to lead Paragon City's main superhero organization, the Freedom Phalanx.
Marcus Cole was orphaned at a fairly young age, shortly after his mother died his father became alcoholic and abusive and drank himself to death but Marcus was taken in by a man called Rudolf Richter. Marcus grew-up with Rudolf's son, Stefan and daughter, Monica and became good friends with both of them. Eventually Marcus and Stefan enlisted in the army during World War I. During their tour of Europe Marcus and Stefan heard tales of the legendary Well of the Furies. The Well was said to be the repository for the powers of the gods of old when they left the world so very long ago and Marcus's fascination with the myth lead Stefan to do much research on the Well. Stefan's research compiled until evidence seemed to point to it being more than a myth. Marcus and Stefan would go on to become mercenaries gathering resources and information for an expedition to find the Well of the Furies. They would eventually find the Well but not before Stefan was exposed to mustard gas during their tour, luckily the Well cured Stefan when he drank from it and the two gained super powers. When they drank of the Well both Marcus and Stefan became Incarnates, (Beings with super powers of divine origin, effectively high-end demi-gods), The powers of Zeus were reconstituted into Marcus and the powers of Tartarus were reconstituted into Stefan and each gained half of a divine constitution: For Marcus he gained the physical half of divinity, gaining the strength, endurance and speed of a god; While Marcus gained the intellect, insight and charisma of a god, both also became ageless and near-immortal. The powers had a side-effect however both men became inclined towards, though not completely slaves to, the behaviors of their powers' previous incarnations, for Marcus this meant he became inclined to become more inquisitive and self-righteous like Zeus, for Stefan this meant he was more inclined toward havoc like Tartarus. Before they left they covered their tracks to make sure no-one else found the Well of the Furies but as they left noticed a box, it was Pandora's Box. Upon opening it they soon found the hope locked within it freed, the box contained the built up potential of humanity over the past thousand years and released a new level of potential into the world, this event would be what triggered the various forms of serendipity that would lead to a new age of superpowers the likes of which had not been seen since ancient Greece.
When they returned to the US Stefan proposed they put their powers to optimal use and become even greater mercenaries now that they had their powers. Marcus helped Stefan for a while however soon Marcus saw that his friend was becoming more and impossible for him to ignore as the people they were incidentally harming in their quest for wealth and prosperity grew. By the1930s Marcus abandon his friend and took up the name "Statesman" as a costumed hero dedicated to protecting Paragon City against crime. Stefan was outraged that Marcus had not only abandon him after all they had been through but was actively fighting him and with the powers he had helped track down for Marcus. Stefan ceased his activities in Paragon City and moved on to other pastures but he would never forget Marcus's ingratitude or egomania.
By World War II many heroes had been born of the released potential of Pandora's Box and Statesman lead most of them in the fight for freedom against the Axis. While they were away though the capital was attacked by a madman calling himself "Lord Nemesis". Nemesis was a mad inventor who had an army of mechanized minions and a deadly plague that he launched across the entire US simultaneously. Statesman, Monica Richter (under her super-heroine name "Maiden Justice"), and his close friend Sister Psyche' lead the charge back to the US to make battle with the madman. By the time they arrived though Nemesis was already holding Congress hostage until such time as he was declared Emperor of the United States. Sister Psyche used her psychic powers to read Nemesis's mind and find the antidote then broadcast the formula to the main areas hit by the plague, with Nemesis's main leverage gone an epic battle ensued on the steps of the Capital Building. There were many casualties but in the end Statesman and his forces brought in Nemesis, however as they soon discovered after the battle the "Nemesis" they had been fighting was a fake, an empty power-suit standing in for Nemesis who had long since fled the scene. Statesman was hailed as a hero and soon after the event he and Maiden Justice were married but Statesman' outlook on what he had unleashed to the world changed. Statesman considered that along with giving the world a new age of superheroes he had also given it a new age of super-villains and from that point on would spent his time patrolling his home and campaigning against super-villainy.
In the 1950s Paragon was attacked by a group calling itself, Arachnos. Arachnos was a shadowy Italian assassins' association that had been sponsored by a super-villain calling himself Recluse, a spider themed mad genius, who had bought his way into the organization and was quickly able to persuade them to form an assault on Paragon City. During the raid Statesman finally came face to face with Recluse after fighting back most of the Arachnos soldiers. In the battle Recluse revealed himself to be Stefan Richter. Stefan had come to bring a new age to the world with his intellect and was using Arachnos as a means of influence in his campaign. It was no coincidence that Arachnos attacked Paragon though, Recluse had encouraged the leader of Arachnos, Weaver-One, to attack there to deal with Statesman. Stefan never forgave Marcus for his betrayal or for his self-righteousness and wanted Statesman to be the first to witness the new age under his influence, it had also not helped matters that Marcus had married Stefan's sister and turned her against him as well. Statesman fought off most of the Arachnos troops and with his army in retreat Recluse himself withdrew from Paragon City but swore he would not rest until the world was his and that Paragon would be the first to fall. Statesman saw there was no reasoning with his friend and with the influence of Zeus his dedication was that much stronger to being a superhero in-spite of his friendship with Stefan. Statesman did not know how much things would change after that though. For some time, Recluse blamed the failed assault on Arachnos' current high-command and Weaver-One in particular. Recluse organized an assassination with the help of his lover, Red Widow, to kill Weaver-One. After the assassination Recluse inserted himself as the new leader of Arachnos and took on the new title "Lord Recluse". Over the next decade Lord Recluse would focus on building Arachnos from a base army into an empire of super-villainy until the day they were strong enough to take Paragon City and destroy Statesman. To combat the new prospect of super-villain groups Statesman urged Paragon to form a super-hero group to patrol the street against super-villains as a team and soon the Freedom Phalanx was formed.
The Freedom Phalanx
Statesman was made head of the Freedom Phalanx, Maiden Justice joined soon after and when she retired her and Stateman's daughter took up her mother's mantle and fought as Statesman's side-kick in the Phalanx. Sister Psyche's also joined as a veteran hero who helped defend against the attack on the Capital. By 2004 The Freedom Phalanx had become a time tested superhero group under Statesman's leadership. Statesman kept it going strong trying to protect the world from the evil's he had inadvertently unleashed upon it.
As of 2004 the leading member of the Freedom Phalanx were
- Statesman- as it's leader
- Sister Psyche'- It's psychic super-heroine veteran
- Positron- A super genius with a power-suit and the ability to generate radiation
- Manticore- A billionaire who put his money to use stylizing himself as a master archer with high-tech arrows
- Back Alley Brawler- A brawny civil liberties crusader in the late 70s turned partl-time hero/full-time cop.
- Synapse- A super-speedster with the power to generate electrical blasts
- Numina- The ghost of a mage, dedicated to protecting the city from mystical threats
- Citadel- A super-strong super-advanced android who had achieved sentience
Statesman often takes it upon himself to solve any and all problems he comes across, while this seems selfless his teammates have noted that this means everything seems to be about him and view him as an egocentric blow-hard. Statesman was also an infamous perfectionist, telling his team-mates what to do, chastising them for being less than perfect and generally being overprotective of them to the point of demeaning their abilities. Each of the Freedom Phalanx takes Statesman's perfectionism differently, While Positron viewed Statesman's attitude as just a personality quirk he still acknowledged Statesman as the most decorated and experienced one among them and followed orders to the best of his abilities. Sister Psyche' views Statesman as a blowhard she humors but frequently snipes at when he starts sounding too full of himself. Manticore is perhaps the least willing to tolerate Statesman and sees him as a self-centered control-freak who frequently steals everyone-else's thunder. Statesman has been criticized many times but is so deadest on cleaning up Paragon City he sees himself as having little time to worry about character flaws or being best friends with his own team-mates. Though there is no sentimentality left between Marcus and Stefan, Marcus still holds out a small sliver of hope that one day his friend will give up his mad goals and the two can rekindle their friendship, however he's not blind with hope and knows such a day will likely never come despite wishes for it. In Statesman's mind all that matters is that he puts his powers to use to save and protect as many people as he possibly can; He considers losing or alienating friends in the process an acceptable loss with that level of responsibility.
No Kill policy
Statesman has a 'no-kill' policy for the Freedom Phalanx. Much to Manticore's frustration, villains get out of jail, or escape before they arrive at jail, multiple times and as his parents were victims of a violent repeat meta-human offender, Manticore has opted to simply kill violent repeat offenders multiple times. Statesman however has made it a hard and fast rule that the Freedom Phalanx are never to use lethal force against criminals. Sister Psyche' and Back Alley Brawler have guessed that this is due to public relations; It is well known Maiden Justice (Statesman's late wife) was arrested for many of her needs as a super-heroine technically breaking laws and she was imprisoned for a long time for things like property damage from getting thrown into buildings, or breaking and entering to confront corrupt business owners, though Maiden Justice would eventually be cleared and several laws granting leeway to super-heroes were passed, Sister Psyche' posits that Statesman does not want such restrictions to return, which they might if killing criminals became a norm. Back Alley Brawler makes a slightly different guess about the policy, that if heroes started outright killing criminals in full view of the public it would be phenomenally bad for public relations - That cops would stop letting heroes onto crime-scenes to size up the situation, and instead of graciously thanking heroes for saving them, citizens would just start fleeing, seeing heroes as so-called 'loose-cannons', and Statesman has been around long enough to have fully internalized that. Still Statesman's 'No Kill' policy may in-fact be something much more basic. Marcus helped Stefan for a few bank robberies before becoming a super-hero, Stefan was smart enough to make sure the robberies went off perfectly with a masked Marcus to handle the physical labor, however when Stefan started killing/having people killed in order to get away with the crimes perfectly, Marcus saw his friend as having gone mad, and abandoned him to make up for it as a hero 'Statesman'. Statesman has accidentally killed people due to his strength and certain precarious environmental perils, Marcus has been a soldier in at least 2 wars and killed people in literal war-zone situations, he however sees intentional non-war-zone killing and a line one should never cross. It may be that Statesman has his 'No Kill' policy solidly applied to the Freedom Phalanx due to not wanting to have any of his team-mates go down the same path as his former friend, Stefan.
- Statesman was the in-game avatar of lead designer Jack Emmert.
- Jack (Statesman) Emmert was said to be a demanding perfectionist who worked the rest of the dev-team to the point of exhaustion. Emmert would eventually move onto other projects with the remaining dev-team telling many a story of late hours, re-launches, and numerous minor bug fixes or universe continuity corrections, however the devs also admit these sort of menial fixes and extra effort would set the tone for the game's mechanics and universe that gave it lasting power.
- Statesman was not originally envisioned as an unpleasable kill-joy, but a more generic Superman/Captain America pastiche. The dev team's various gripes with Emmert were added to the character to give him some human flaws to round out his character.
- Statesman is unclear about his religious back-ground as his mother was Lutheran, but she died in child-birth so he was not raised as such; His father was Catholic, but abusive so he was never instilled with positive Catholic values; His foster siblings were Protestant but their mother died before he was taken in; And his foster father was Jewish. This has also caused Statesman some minor theological issues as he has the demonstrable power of an ancient Greek God. As a result of this Statesman's actual religious beliefs are left ambiguous. Marcus's two solidly established theological beliefs are he at the very least views gods such as Zeus or Prometheus as being real but he still believes in Heaven.
- In the comics Statesman is portrayed as having dirty blonde hair, however the few times he has been seen without his helmet his hair his dark-brown. As physical alteration is common now in Paragon City thanks to the Icon Image Consultants, Marcus may just occasionally dye his hair or it could be due to lack of image notes between the rest of the dev-team and main artist David Nakayama.